Sorry for the lack of posting in the last 10 days but it has been hell keeping up with work, training, racing, marriage and a two and a half year old. After my last post I did a few NRC criteriums including Willmington, Kelly Cup and Sommerville. Sometimes I think I'm a good crit rider (usually on a climb) and sometimes I think I'm a good climber (usually in a crit). I'm starting to think that I really do suck at both. Willmington would have been a disaster if it wasn't for Scott Zwizanski winning. And it was a beautiful win. He gets into a break of 12 guys with 4 Colavita guys and with two laps to go slips away and wins it.
Now it wasn't pretty since Scottie you may remember pedals with a goofy foot but man was it special. My race sucked. I was in oxygen deprivation from the first lap (need to remember to warm up properly) after driving 3 hours to get there and once the break stuck and I saw the race was done I pulled the plug. Not a good idea since I should have finished and tried to get some NRC points for the team.
Kelly Cup went better. Well sort of. I was a little pissed at how Wilmington went so I drove to Baltimore the night before. Made sure I did an hour of spinning in the morning and an OK warm up. My legs were great in the race. I felt good and nothing was getting away without me trying to be in it. With about 12 laps to go a dangerous move goes up the road and I bridge up with a few guys but then the counter went and I had nothing in the thank to be in there. So I start setting up the sprint for Sven when with two laps to go as were hitting the front somebody goes down and I can't avoid him since I have barriers to my left and a field to my right. I t bone the guy break my frame and by the time I get up I'm the only guy left behind. Obviously I was a little pissed and ended up borrowing a bike from SRAM so that I could get to my car. Damm it. I really wanted to do well at Kelly.
Sommerville is a special race for me since it was my first race in the US back in 1987 and my first win in the US in the 9-11 category. I still remember beating Yanni Felman who at the time was the hot kid on the block until I showed up that is. I stuck on his wheel the whole race not taking one pull and then I beat him in the sprint. I was under orders from my father not to pull. After that for a few years Yanni and I would end up alone in each race and I would either drop him or out sprint him. Poor guy. Anyways. Sommerville is a great race. Fast, easy and usually a sprint so I wanted to make sure that we were in good shape until the end and then see if I can sneak into the Colavita train with Sven since I was pretty sure Haedo was the guy to beat. I spun my legs the entire day in an easy gear and was pretty fresh in the end. But so were a lot of people and there were way too many people trying to jockey for position that had no business being there. It was crash mania. There must have been 5 crashes in the last lap. I managed to avoid them all but Sven and Scottie weren't so lucky and they both went down hard. I managed to stay upright and was on the Colavita train
until the last lap when I got boxed out and just rolled accross the line in 23rd place.
The last crit I did was also the hardest. The Ricola Twilight Criterium is a local race in Baskin Ridge that usually gets a great field because of a $10,000 prize list. Last year I lasted 22 minutes and average 330 Watts for those 22 minutes. That's real Watts not normalized power folks. I'm sure that's nothing for a lot of guys but for me its a lot. This year again I suffered like a dog and tought many times I was going to get dropped but I survived and finished 16th. The average power for the same 22 minutes was 300 Watts this year but the speed was the same so I am either a lot leaner or getting more efficient.
This weekend I have the CSC classic another NRC race in Arlington, VA. Its the first time that I do a 100 Km criterium since I raced in Europe and its suppose to be a hard one so I am hoping to have good legs for it. Especially since my college roommate will be there with his family and the last time he watched me race at Kelly I went down. That was also the first time he watched me race. So I'm hoping not to go down this time. Then it's Philly week and that will be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to doing the Allentown race in front of the Rodale folks as well as Philly itself since the last time I did it was 1995. I've been preparing hard for these races and am hoping to be on good days so that I can help the team.